Special Group chief executive Michael Redwood says business on the other side of the ditch is growing so quickly that he anticipates the Sydney office will employ more staff than the Auckland branch by the end of 2016. And this rapid growth, which has seen the Sydney office grow to 30 staff within 18 months, was recently recognised by Sydney-based Adnews magazine, which declared Special Group the Emerging Agency of the Year.
Browsing: Tony Bradbourne
For many, it was disappointing to see the Auckland Harbour Bridge return to its standard gun-metal grey hue after 2degrees, Special Group and Gladeye added some colour—and musical interactivity—to the landmark during the seven week Play The Bridge campaign. And bringing “New Zealand’s largest lightshow” to life was an impressive feat of digital production problem solving and creativity.
After separating from its long-time agency Ogilvy, Holden decided to choose its new creative partner in a novel way by giving the two top contenders FCB and Special Group their own real world tests. And it’s Special Group that has come out victorious.
2degrees is attempting a fairly difficult telco trick at the moment as it tries to morph from a challenger brand with lots of low value customers into a grown-up company that’s more appealing to the high-rollers—and it could be argued its agency Special Group is on a similar trajectory as it evolves from a small indie with small clients into a serious multi-national network that’s competing with the bigg’uns. And now the pair are set to launch a very grown-up stunt to celebrate Auckland’s 175th anniversary, its new phone plans and the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 by turning the Auckland Harbour Bridge into an interactive light show.
There was a bit of kerfuffle recently when Carl’s Jr. had its American television commercial promoting its new Memphis BBQ Burger banned from television in New Zealand by the Commercial Approvals Bureau for using sexual appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner to sell an unrelated product. It responded by running a digital campaign driving people to view the ad on its YouTube channel. And it’s continued to embrace the controversy, with Special Group letting imaginations run wild by repurposing the TV commercial for radio.
Ecoya came in for some unwanted attention for its very visible nudity in 2011, with its Lady Godiva-inspired billboard getting a slap from the ASA (and also getting stolen). And in the latest campaign it’s maintained the sans clothes approach, although this time it’s claiming the nudity is ‘invisible’.
Entertainment has long been part of advertising, as evidenced by the (paraphrased) old Saatchi & Saatchi mantra of ‘if it’s interrupting you in your living room, it better be good’. But that idea has evolved over the years, to the point where Cannes added a branded content category into the schedule this year and Mumbrella recently held its inaugural Australasian Branded Entertainment Awards. And Special Group managed to take home a silver for The Gravity Coffee Run in best integration of brand story-telling (non-fictional) and a gold for The Smirnoff Night Project in transmedia. Air New Zealand’s Kiwi Sceptics campaign by Host Sydney took two bronzes in the same two categories.
AA Insurance and Special Group took the opportunity to remind the nation about the positive aspects of insurance with the launch of its big 90 second brand ad a few weeks back. And now it’s following that up with a series of 30 and 15 second product ads—once again nicely crafted by Special Problems—and an attention-grabbing outdoor campaign that aims to communicate the new ‘Let’s get things sorted’ positioning and showcase the various facets of the business, from tailored car insurance to personal case managers.
Kirstie Stanway got the shock of her life when she turned up for her first day as an intern at More FM and ended up flying to El Salvador as part of a marketing campaign for Gravity Coffee. And now Kiwis get to see how her rather unique experience panned out in a rather unique way, with her journey being made into a series of 45 second TVCs that will play in the first ad break of 3 News each night this week.
When Special Group took the Gravity Coffee business off Shine last year, the first problem it set out to solve was the packaging. And with that taken care of, as well as a new website courtesy of Fracture, it’s ramped things up a bit with an ambitious intern ambush.
Special Group is the first New Zealand ad agency ever to be asked to talk at the Semi-Permanent creativity conference, which packed out the Aotea Centre in Auckland for a few days recently and featured headline acts like New York artist Ron English, UK digital agency Hi-Res, San Francisco-based Industrial Light & Magic and Wallpapermagazine. The local lads opened proceedings in front of around 2000 people with a talk centred around the eight things they do to make their work more effective that showcased the diverse range of work they have produced over their four years of existence—including the Best Award-winning packaging work for ecostore and the 2011 AXIS-award winning AXIS opening film. So here’s a summary of their presentation.
MediaWorks and Special Group put a bit of effort into promoting the Sunday showing of The Simpsons’ 500th episode. And it worked, with nearly a quarter of a million viewers aged 5+ tuning in to the show, the most viewers since the channel was launched in February last year.
The January/February round of voting for The Glossies has been tabulated, and FOUR’s Home of NOT Rugby in ACP’s Metro, cooked up by FOUR and Special Group, has taken top honours with 27 percent of the vote. Yellow Pencil BrandSharp’s effort for Red Paris in NZ Marketing got them tantalisingly close, with 26 percent, and Chris Dobbs was third for Working Style in Metro (10 percent). That’s two in a row for Special Group…
The November/December round of voting for The Glossies has come to an end and the creative campaign concocted by ecostore, Special Group, Naked and Salt Interactive that ran in ACP’s Little Treasures and allowed parents to turn their children into cover stars has claimed first place with 22 percent of the 574 votes received, beating out Alt Group’s Fisher & Paykel ad in Cuisine (18 percent) and Tourism Queensland’s multi-page execution (EBOOK_LTQG_2011_LR) in Let’s Travel Golf edition (15 percent).
Flying in the face of all the election and Christmas related advertising that has been dominating our newspapers lately, November’s winning ad, by Special Group, was created for the Newspaper Publishers’ Association using an innovative full page designed to be folded so the whole newspaper could be posted to someone overseas to celebrate the Rugby World Cup All Blacks win.
Put yourself in the shoes of a rugby hater for a moment. Almost everywhere you turn you are bombarded by earnest, emotional ads from sponsors of the All Blacks or the Rugby World Cup talking about long-awaited victory, national pride, unwavering support and inner belief, while the ‘cluster ruck’ of domestic broadcasters (Sky, Rugby Channel, TV3, TV One and Maori TV) screening, repeating and analysing the Big Rugby Event (BRE) means it will probably be quite difficult to escape the tournament when it kicks off. No doubt, there is plenty of excitement in the air, but MediaWorks and Special Group have decided to zig while everyone else is zagging with a cheeky, entertaining new campaign for FOUR that references the overkill and positions the channel as ‘The Home of Not Rugby’.
How do you make your booze brand stand out a little more? Creating a reality-type series that leverages the smart ideas generated by creatives is one way, and ratings for the Smirnoff Night Project, which made its debut just under two week’s ago, point to it being an effective concept (read all about the campaign, spearheaded by Special Group,here).
Back in November, Smirnoff and Special Group launched a campaign to get people to come up with kerrrazzeee ideas for events, with the winning concepts brought to life and the highs and lows of the lead-up and execution filmed for an unscripted reality show that would screen on FOUR. Well, that show kicks off tonight at 10.30 and Special Group creative director Tony Bradbourne is pretty damn excited about it.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity organisers have announced the line-up that will serve as the bringers of judgment to the worldwide celebration of influence and creativity. And seven talented chaps from the local biz have been chosen to head along to the Côte d’Azur, up from a mere six last year.
New Zealanders seem to have something of a love/hate attitude when it comes to marketing and advertising. Some despise it because it tricks people into buying things they don’t need, makes the nation fatter/drunker/more dangerous and is an industry supposedly filled with wankers. But others seem to be able to look past all that and simply enjoy biting into the fruits of the industry’s labour. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt Kiwis are interested in it, as evidenced by the fact that the Fair Go Ad Awards is regularly among the country’s top rating shows. And CAANZ and TVNZ are hoping to tap into this interest and showcase the creative, innovative side of the business by filming the Axis award show and screening it on Ondemand.
Pitching for any account is a competitive affair but when you’re pitching for a lucrative account that features five big-name, top-end car brands, you better be firing out the big guns. And that’s just what four agencies are currently doing as they muscle it out to win the …
CAANZ has announced the three foreign dignitaries for Axis 2011, with Kiwi expat Andy Fackrell of 180 (Amsterdam), Bryan Rowles of 72 and Sunny (Los Angeles) and Dejan Rasic of Colman Rasic (Sydney) making up the illustrious international award hogging panel.
Hey, creative types, it’s the last week to enter the Axis awards. And, to ramp up the excitement (and patriotism), the Axis gang, with new convenor of judges Tony Bradbourne at the helm, has released the results of an extremely scientifically robust study that shows New Zealand is the most creative country in the world.
Education is all about aspiration; about the promise of knowledge eventually leading to a better lot for the students and their loved ones. And Special Group’s new ‘Change Starts Here’ brand campaign for the Unitec Institute of Technology aims to tap into that—although in a way not seen before in New Zealand.
Vicky Te Puni
It was fun while it lasted, but it seems Orcon and Special Group have split up.
Special Group has continued its hot run of form in 2010 by nabbing a slice of the MediaWorks TV business. And the first task has been to rebrand and relaunch the youth-focused music channel C4 and turn it into a slightly less youth focused mainstream entertainment channel called FOUR.
Yet more proof, if any were needed, that the indie agencies are now too legit to quit after Special Group’s creative director Tony Bradbourne was appointed as the convenor of judges for the 2011 Axis awards, the first time the honour has gone to anyone from an independent agency.
After every Olympic Games, New Zealand’s obsession with medal tables and country rankings becomes apparent as we do a few sums, take comfort in our per capita performance and repeatedly utter the phrase ‘punching above our weight’. But in the advertising world, if results from the Cannes Lions are anything to go by, New Zealand doesn’t even need to rely on per capita results, because the 25 Lions won by Kiwi agencies, which was up from 23 in 2009, meant we were again near the top of the pile in terms of total awards won.